Wondering what to do in Cork?
If you’re a first time visitor or you have lived in Cork all your life then look no further. Cork is packed full of great things to do and so many attractions are in close proximity. This really is one of the best things about Cork – it’s small – so new adventures are only just around the corner. Cork is an absolute gem and there is no where else in the world quite like it. With so many attractions to choose from in Cork City and County I have narrowed it down to my top 10 picks. With Hello Cork your weekend never looked so good!
Kayaking on the River Lee
If you want to see the City from a completely different angle then you need to go kayaking on the beautiful River Lee. I did this last year with Atlantic Sea Kayaking and it was such a fun experience. You will spend 2 hours gently gliding under the bridges of Cork City and waving to strangers. You’ll notice the intricate carvings underneath the bridges and you will feel completely relaxed afterwards.
The English Market
A firm favorite with Corkonians and tourists alike – The English Market is a must see. It is the largest covered food market in Ireland and the atmosphere is simply electric. Spend a morning exploring all the stalls and the equally interesting traders! From family stalls handed down through generations to a variety of pop stalls full of new and exciting ventures you won’t be bored. Once your done exploring, pop into the Farmgate cafe upstairs where you will have a bird’s eye view of the market whilst enjoying a coffee. The English Market is so popular that even Queen Elizabeth paid a visit in 2014!
Photo Credit: @barrychandler
Shandon Bells and Tower
This bell tower is part of St Anne’s Church. It is affectionately known in Cork as the Four Faced Liar as the clocks on each side usually tell a different time! If you visit – not only will you have the opportunity to ring the bells but you can also climb 132 steps and experience the 360 degree view of Cork City. Built in the 18th century this tower is unique and you can still see the original scripture on the bells too. Did you know this was the first four faced clock until the construction of Big Ben in London?
If you do one thing when you’re in Cork – you must kiss the Blarney Stone! As the legend goes you will then receive the gift of eloquence and you will never be lost for words again! Blarney Castle is a postcard perfect spot. You can spend your afternoon exploring the castle, wandering through the mystical estate and immersing yourself in the history and legend that Blarney holds dear. Don’t forget to bring a picnic as this is a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon.
Photo Credit: @Kroky_
Volunteer with Reimagine Cork
This is something you’ll really enjoy. Reimagine Cork are a community effort focused on giving areas of Cork the TLC it needs. From transforming derelict laneways to re-designing boring ESB boxes there is never a dull moment – literally! The Reimagine art work is popping up all over the city – so why not be apart of it? Not only will you be lending a hand to improve the city but you’ll have a lot of fun in the process.
Photo Credit: Alan Hurley
St Finbarre’s Cathedral
Designed by William Bruges, St Finbarre’s Cathedral is a simply a masterpiece. It is full of beautiful stained glass, sculptures (more than 1,260!) and marble mosaics. One of the most well know features of the Cathedral is the golden angel standing to attention on top of the Cathedral. As the legend goes, the angel will sound her trumpet when the world is due to end, allowing the people of Cork to be one of the first to enter heaven. Don’t forget to walk through the labyrinth outside the Cathedral before you leave – you may just leave St Finbarre’s Cathedral feeling a lot more enlightened than when you first walked in!
Photo Credit: @bjkc1986
Elizabeth Fort is one of my favorite places to visit. It forms part of the old Garda Barracks on Barrack Street in Cork City and the views are absolutely fantastic. Not only are you treated to a view of Cork City but you can also get a spectacular view of Saint Finbarre’s Cathedral too. Elizabeth Fort has been apart of Cork’s history for over 400 years and you can take a tour to find out more about the events that took place at the fort in the past.
You won’t find a more scenic little town than Kinsale. Brimming with great restaurants, coffee shops and picturesque views this needs to be on your Sunday spin list. This colourful town is packed with fun activities from Charles Fort, the Old head of Kinsale, Sandy Cove, Dolphin and Whale watching and much more ! If your feeling really adventurous why not go scuba diving? I recommend going with Ocean Addicts as I went diving with them last summer and it was an amazing experience.
Visiting the most south-westerly point of Ireland needs to be high on your bucket list. Mizen head is a ruggedly beautiful location along the Wild Atlantic Way and is a popular spot for tourists the world over. From dramatic cliff scenery to the possibility of spotting whales in the waters below this trip is for the adventurous. The best part is crossing the famous Arch Bridge – don’t look down!
Garnish Island is located in Glengarrif in Bantry Bay, West Cork. If you are looking for a road trip then you need to visit this stunningly beautiful island garden which is full of exotic plants and walkways. You will need to get a boat to the island from Glengariff pier and you will even visit Seal Island on the way. Get your camera ready as these seals love getting their picture taken! A trip to Garnish Island will show you nature at its finest.
Thanks for reading!